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Kingston upon Thames 11 plus (11+) guide

By Atom | Mar 20, 2024, 3:28 PM

Kingston upon Thames grammar schools 11 plus

Are you considering a grammar school in Kingston upon Thames for your child? We’ve collated everything you need to know about admissions in 2024–2025. Keep reading to:

  • Find out more about grammar schools in Kingston upon Thames

  • Learn about the Tiffin schools’ 11 plus exam

  • Discover which subjects your child will be tested on

  • Plus, get exclusive resources to help your child prepare!

Which grammar schools in Kingston use the 11 plus?

There are two grammar schools in Kingston upon Thames: Tiffin School (boys) and The Tiffin Girls’ School (girls). Both schools use the same 11 plus exam.

Dates for your diary

  • Monday 3rd June 2024: stage one test registration opens for Tiffin School

  • Tuesday 4th June 2024: stage one test registration opens for The Tiffin Girls' School

  • Monday 8th July 2024: deadline to register for the sports and music aptitude assessments at Tiffin School

  • Monday 2nd September 2024: registration closes

  • Thursday 3rd – Friday 4th October 2024: stage one test

  • Tuesday 15th October 2024: outcome of stage one test sent to parents

  • Thursday 31st October 2024: secondary school common application deadline

  • November 2024: stage two test (exact date TBC)

  • Monday 3rd March 2025: national offers day

What is the 11 plus?

The 11 plus is an exam used by grammar schools in England to select children of academic ability. It’s normally designed to identify children working in the top 25% of their year group.

Both Tiffin schools have a two-stage testing process. All children applying for a Tiffin school take the stage one test in early October in Year 6. These papers are designed by GL Assessment.

Shortlisted children are then invited to continue their application to the school by taking the stage two test in November. These papers are designed by the schools.

If you are interested in other grammar schools nearby – such as Sutton grammar schools – you will need to register for your child to take these schools’ 11 plus exams too.

What’s on the Kingston 11 plus?

Children applying to one of the Tiffin schools have a two-stage testing process.

Stage One

The stage one tests will take place on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th October 2024. Your child will be invited to take the test on one of these dates.

The stage one test papers are provided by GL Assessment. Both papers last around one hour.

  • English: this is a multiple-choice test

  • Maths: this consists of multiple-choice questions, and some where your child will need to record a numerical answer

Children record their answers in a separate answer booklet which is marked by computer.

The stage one tests assess your child’s understanding of Key Stage 2 English and maths content. This will include Year 6 objectives which your child might not yet have learned at school. The grammar schools don’t expect children to have covered this content yet, but the 11 plus exam tests their ability to reason and apply their knowledge in unfamiliar formats.

Stage Two

Invitations for the stage two test will be sent on or around Tuesday 15th October 2024. Children who are invited to the stage two test are eligible for a place at the school.

The stage two tests also assess English and maths, but these are written papers set and marked by the school. These tests are designed to identify children who enjoy and are confident with reading, writing, thinking creatively, working with numbers, and problem-solving.

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Verbal reasoning paper

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What is the pass mark for the Tiffin 11 plus?

After the stage one tests, your child’s papers will be marked by examiners at GL Assessment. The raw scores are combined and age-standardised to ensure children born later in the academic year aren’t disadvantaged. This final score is your child’s ‘stage one score’.

Children with the highest stage one scores are invited back to the stage two test. The number of children invited back is based on the school’s planned admission number (PAN). Both Tiffin schools have a PAN of 180 for entry in 2025. The number of shortlisted children will be at least sufficient to meet 180 after the admissions process has been completed.

The stage two exam papers are also age-standardised and then combined with the results from the stage one test. Each school weights the final result slightly differently:

  • Tiffin School: the combined mark is made up of 50% English and 50% maths. The English mark comes from the stage two test. The maths mark comes from the stage one and the stage two tests in the ratio 2:3.

  • The Tiffin Girls’ School: the combined mark is made up of 60% English and 40% maths. The English mark comes from the stage two test. The maths mark comes from the stage two test and stage one test in a ratio of 3:1.

Children are ranked in order of their total weighted scores, and within each category of the school’s selection criteria. Disadvantaged children have a 10% leeway applied to their marks. Each school then selects children from the top ranking scores.

Out of around 1,500 children who apply for the Tiffin schools, around 450 are invited back for the stage two test. Both schools have a catchment area and places are usually only offered to children who live within this area.

How to register your child for the Tiffin test

If you would like your child to be considered for a place at a Kingston grammar school, you will need to register them to take the stage one test. The application form is called a ‘supplementary information form’ (SIF) and you will find it on your target school’s website.

The application window for entry in 2025 opens on Tuesday 4th June 2024 and closes on Monday 2nd September 2024. You’ll be emailed information about the test day in late September.

How can I help my child prepare for the 11 plus?

The 11 plus is designed to be challenging. Here are our top tips to help your child prepare for the Tiffin tests in September 2024.

Bitesize learning

It’s important to build a good knowledge base before the 11 plus. Using a ‘little and often’ approach when learning is key – our brains encode new information more effectively when dealing with smaller ‘chunks’ of information. For children aged 10–11, child psychologists recommend regular study sessions of 20–30 minutes.

Atom Home makes learning a more enjoyable process for your child. They'll explore exciting worlds full of interactive questions, earning coins to spend in the Atom shop. Atom adapts to your child, showing them questions at just the right level of difficulty to keep them motivated.

A maths learning journey on Atom Home

Read widely

11 plus exams test your child’s ability to analyse and interpret written information. Regular reading is a great way to help your child build these skills.

Encourage them to read books from different genres and by a diverse range of authors. Increasing the variety of your child’s reading will help them understand different styles, tones and purposes. Meanwhile, reading a little every day will help widen their vocabulary, sharpen their analytical thinking, and enhance their imagination.

Refine exam technique

When your child feels confident with the topics they’ve learnt in Year 5, they’ll be ready to put their knowledge to the test.

Practice tests can help your child develop problem-solving skills and build confidence working under test conditions. They’re also a great way to consolidate learning and highlight knowledge gaps for further improvement.

With Atom Home, you'll unlock online mock tests and printable practice papers. Enjoy automatic marking and progress tracking with the online tests, and help your child get familiar with the real exam experience with printable practice papers.

A mock test for the Tiffin School Stage One maths paper on Atom Home

Celebrate progress

Setting regular, achievable goals and celebrating your child’s progress – no matter how big or small – will help keep their motivation high.

Make sure to encourage a growth mindset. This means celebrating effort, as well as achievement! When your child makes mistakes or struggles to understand a particular topic, help them understand that they’ll improve through practice. Regular praise will help your child improve their resilience when tackling new and challenging topics.

Tailored preparation for the 11 plus

Wish you could give your child a roadmap to success in the 11 plus? You can. Atom Home has everything you need to get prepared, in one package.

You don't need a tutor to get into your top-choice grammar school. You just need Atom. We’ll create a tailored plan for your child and support them along their fun revision journey.

  • Online and printable 11 plus practice papers

  • 90,000+ adaptive questions

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